High School Senior Wins First Ever Bronx SciFest

February 25, 2013 4:28 pm Biological Sciences Dept, School of Natural and Social Sciences, Science Building

Winner Keyko Sánchez poses with Dr. Liesl Jones, the director of the Bronx SciFest, and Dr. Ayana Alexander-Street.

Keyko Sánchez, a 17-year-old senior, who attends Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx, came in first place in the first ever Bronx SciFest, held in Lehman College’s new Science Hall last week.

Sánchez, who is part of the College’s Women in Science program, which mentors female high school students in the fields of STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—won a four-year scholarship to Lehman College for her project which detailed how proton wires transports hydrogen ions. She also won entry to the New York City Science and Engineering Fair, which begins March 3.

“I don’t think I realize how big this is at the moment,” a surprised Sánchez confessed shortly after winning.

The second place prize went Amanda Simón and Shanice Smellie, both students at DeWitt-Clinton High School; while third place went to another team of students: Jaritza Abreau, Michelle Martínez, and Natasha Reynoso, all of whom attend the Bronx Center for Science and Math. Each prize was worth $1000 that will be shared by the students on each team. All the winners participate in the Women in Science Program.

The Intel Corporation provided Lehman with a planning grant to pilot a science fair program with six Bronx middle schools and high schools. The Bronx SciFest represents an important step in establishing robust science opportunities among the borough’s students.

The event was held in Science Hall, which was officially opened on Monday, January 28, 2013. Designed by the New York-based architectural firm of Perkins+Will, Science Hall features high-tech classrooms and laboratories; a rooftop teaching and research greenhouse; a eco-friendly design that’s expected to earn at least a LEED® Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for its many sustainable features, including a system to collect, filter, and reuse rainwater.

The other students who particpated were: Carlos Fuentes, Dennis Bonilla, Lyniel Smith, Daniel Obeng, and Mohammad Hossain (from Mott Hall V High School); Kimberly Rodríguez (InTech Academy); Lesly Rivero; Timal Ramdinal; Daniel Vargas; Jessica Castro; Gianna De La Cruz; Aaliyah Sánchez; Danialis Abreu; Arnav Mukhopadhyay; Kenrick Alfred; Meagan Khan; Cheryl Kang; Lisandro Saavedra; Angélica Mulero; Raychell Velez; Faith Daniel; Jumi Uddin; Marliana Ramos; Jennifer Hernández; Karla Romero; Desiree Abreu; Lawrence Abu-Hammour; and Saadjo Sow (Bronx Center for Science and Math).